This headline was accompanied by what looked like senior civil servants smiling, which mystified me.
Why would these civil servants be smiling when they are only going to get a half-month pay instead of the full month?
Reading further I realized that the headline writer meant these civil servants were going to get a half-month "bonus".
A "payment" is just reward (or punishment).
A "bonus" (Latin root "bon" = good) is an additional payment usually due to good performance.
As a taxpayer you might well ask what have these civil servants done to deserve a bonus, almost immediately after a general election. (Answer: it was not the peformance of the civil servants that was deemed good, but that of the economy.)
When so many aspects of our daily life are going wrong, eg:
- dead body in water tank (not properly regulated by government department?)
- flooding (we can't stop the rain, but at least the relevant departments could ensure safety)
- boy lost to flood (when safety barriers were not put in place)
- overcrowding in buses and other public transport (not getting the estimates right)
- schools not producing the type of graduands required by employers (poor forecasting and understanding of economic and industry needs)
- foreign maid left with brain damage because of some illogical government policy, etc.,
I have friends in the civil service who are doing a great job, I'm sure, so forgive me for even thinking this: maybe a real dose of "half-month payment", especially for those at the top, could be the spur that we taxpayers should put in the you-know-where of the ministers and those who should be leading the charge in making the life of Singaporeans (and their guests) that little better.
Those who agree, please